Oedipus the King: Guilty or Innocent
A Reaction Paper in English 106 (Greek Drama) Oedipus the King: Guilty or Innocent Sent to Dr. Ulysses B. Aparece Sent by Elmer J. Mangubat Guilty or Innocent Guilt presupposes the commission of sin; yet what makes up sin? From the ethical perspective, sin is the denial of what is excellent that is should be done or to happen; or sin is the omission of what is should be done. For sin to be categorized as such, there has to be a set of ethical standards from which judgment on whether sin occurs or not earnings. Thus, to say Oedipus is guilty remains to be seen.
Supporters have actually long discussed over Oedipus’s regret or innocence. I would like to react on some of P. H. Vellacot’s assertions on the regret of Oedipus. First of all, Vellacot says “the awful destiny of Oedipus is shown as one put upon him by supernatural powers in general, by that extensive Fate which governs every man’s life.” At the beginning of his commentary, Vellacot seems to recommend that Oedipus is currently latched into this terrible course of fate– as ordained by Fate, with the concurrence, naturally, of the gods.
In the detailed lives of Greek heroes and heroines, the role of the gods and goddesses is a primary style. It is not surprising, therefore, that Oedipus is no exception. It’s as if his fate has long been sealed, and the oracles and prophesies are simply a verification to this awful playing of his role. As the term detailed suggests, Oedipus is bound to follow his fate as preordained by the powers that be. Second of all, Vellacot argues that if whatever is because of fate then Oedipus is without sin; for that reason, there can be no catastrophe.
Then he claims this question: “How can there be a true tragedy without sin?” Following this line of thinking, Vellacot asserts that Sophocles should supply the sound claim for Oedipus’s sin to justify the terrible character of the play– thus Oedipus’s false allegations on Tiresias and Creon. To Vellacot, nevertheless, this relocation is simply Sophocles’ ploy of including sin to validate Oedipus’s downfall. This assertion of Vellacot might be bordering on speculation, yet there could be a grain of truth in it.
The assertion is relatively a powerful tactic of Vellacot himself to increase the argument over Oedipus’s guilt, which is exemplified by the question: “How can there be a disaster without sin?” The foregoing propositions of Vellacot on Oedipus’s innocence pave the way for Vellacot’s counterclaim– that although it was clear that the oracle had actually spoken, Oedipus had complete awareness of the important things that he ought to and might have prevented through the premonitions of the drunkard, and later on of Tiresias.
With the premonitions in location, the primary ideas of Oedipus need to have been, as Vellacot professes, to prevent (1) eliminating an old guy and (2) avoid marrying an elderly female. The literary critic E. R. Dodds shares a comparable view with Vellacot. The moralist, as he says, might ask, “Understanding that he remained in risk of dedicating patricide and incest, would not an actually prudent guy have avoided quarreling, even in self-defense, with guys older than himself, and likewise love-relations with females older than himself?” This is a very legitimate claim, indeed.
Oedipus could have worked out self-control understanding that even the tiniest of probabilities might set off that rush of fate. Dodds reasons, nevertheless, that these considerations would have remained in location had we been scrutinizing the character of a person. Instead, we should look at it in the light of the dramatist viewpoint, as Dodds puts it: “We are examining the intentions of a dramatist, and we are not entitled to ask concerns that the dramatist did not mean to ask.” On an individual note, I would state to some degree that Oedipus has specific guilt towards his actuations.
Although the Greeks perceive their gods as if they were one with them in all that they do, the reality stays that Oedipus is still a person; and part of his humankind is that he has the intellect and the will. To some degree, he has the will and liberty to inspect his actuations in the various situations that he remains in. This would have been the ideal manner in which Oedipus could have played his role. Nevertheless, questions would pester us once again: Who are we to question the dramatist’s intents? What would become of the play– of the disaster in particular– had things gone the other method?